Nearly every year on Mother’s Day while I was growing up, my siblings and I would wake up early to surprise Mom with breakfast in bed. We would make her pancakes, eggs or toast, pour glasses of juice and make her some unusually thick coffee.
We’d scavenge the neighbors’ yards to select just the right flower, and we’d arrange it all on a tray with the morning newspaper.
Never mind, she hated eating in bed
We’d climb over her and into bed with her, holding our presents in wrinkled wrapping for her to open, proud of our covert morning preparations. Then we’d watch with delight as she opened our handmade cards, handmade candleholders and crayoned coupons for chores and affection.
Mom always made sure that each of us five children were well-fed, had clean clothes and were given all we needed to succeed in school. She made our lunches and always tucked in some sort of store bought pastry or home baked goodie. She made sure she spent time with each of us so we felt valuable.
I remember one rainy day when Mom found time to make paper dolls out of old Sear’s catalogs for me. Even though she groaned a little, she enjoyed helping each of us with intricate crafts for school projects. She was a gifted artist–something I did not inherit. There is no limit to the number of sacrifices she made for each of us and we were all treated as if we were the only child she had. Our lives were not perfect, but she tried her very best.
Not until years later, after I had caught on that our annual breakfast ritual could hardly be called a surprise, and long after I graduated high school, did Mom reveal that she was not a fan of breakfast in bed. Balancing a meal on her lap, teeth unbrushed, messy hair and no proper table and crumbs in the sheets, did not appeal to her….but she allowed us to serve her, because she did not wish to hurt our feelings.
Kindness, compassion, blessing others and putting someone before yourself–were all the hallmarks of my mom. She never did anything because she wanted thanks or flowers, and that is all the more reason she deserved them. As a kid, I took my mom for granted and assumed she would be there everyday of my life–unfortunately, she died much too young and with her death, part of my heart died too.
It’s been 14 years since we lost you Mom, and I appreciate all you have done more deeply than before.
Thank you, Mom. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day in heaven